Benefit rises to €450 - with stricter rules
SPAIN The government of Mariano Rajoy had been under pressure for some time to keep the €400 benefit for the unemployed, which was due to run out at the end of this month. So the Minister for Unemployment and Social Security, Fátima Báñez announced yesterday that a new such benefit, called Prepara, would come into effect immediately. This would extend the previous benefit, but would be for €450 instead. However, the three objectives set out in a press release (improve protection for those who really need it, reinforce the requirements for those who benefit so that it is easier for them to access employment, and increase cooperation with regional authorities to improve the plan's efficiency) are widely believed to be leading to much more stringent regulations as to who receives the benefit. Thus, as a whole, the benefit will be given to those who have no income at all, above 75% of the minimum monthly wage - €641.40 in 2012. Those who have previously received the benefit may also apply if their circumstances have not changed.